How To's of Test Prep

Ever since you were a kid in grade school, and a particularly difficult test was on the menu for the near future, your insides probably shrank and groaned a bit at the mere thought of extra study. As if you didn't have enough school to cloud your day and fill up your evenings on top of studies and homework, you had to study extra hard for your test, or all of them, since tests tend to breed like bunnies.

Well, now that you're a bit past that stage, admit it, your insides still tend to quail and shudder when a test is on the way. Thankfully, there is such a thing as test prep, to help you leap that hurdle. As you get older, tests tend to get a little more complex and harder, and thus the need for test prep only gets higher as you go along, unless you're the next Einstein, of course; and sometimes we wonder whether he didn't do the test prep thing, too. Basically, test prep is a preparatory course, or tutelage, taken by the student prior to some important test or examination. A few minutes' worth of online research will generally open up a veritable world of test-prep companies, tutors, organizations, websites, materials, advice, and guides; some for free, some for sale at a moderate fee, and some overpriced.

Once you have sifted through the options available to you, there are still several basic tips, which if remembered, will add to the test prep experience, and keep you sane and even healthy throughout the test-taking ordeal. A few of these include:

  • Get plenty of rest. Your brain doesn't work very well when it isn't rested, and energy drinks, etc, are a very poor, meager substitute for a good night's sleep.

  • Exercise. Force yourself to get your mind out of your books, worries, studies, and everything else, and get out for some fresh air in the rain or sun.

  • Make a game of your test prep. If you know you get flustered and jittery when under the constraints of a time-limit, setting up practice tests with time-limits, and making bets with yourself to break your own records, can help you beat the jitters when the real deal comes around.

  • Set little goals, and reward yourself whenever you reach a goal.

  • Take the test prep seriously, even if you'd much rather do something else. Laziness, putting off your studies, or allowing your mind to space out while studying, will likely result in your either failing to get a good score, or having to repeat the test. You don't want to do that.

  • Finally, just do your best! Life goes on, after all.

Photo Credit:Micah Sittig

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